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NGOs thrown out of gear by FCRA

The Government must give a more transparent account of its actions against NGOs

If the past few years of enhanced measures against non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in India had not put enough of a squeeze on them, then the Ministry of Home Affairs’s long-drawn-out process of scrutinising their foreign-funding licences by year-end is sure to do so. Close on the heels of the news that the Missionaries of Charity group had been denied a renewal of its licence under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (amended in 2020), comes the revelation that more than four-fifths of the applications of the 22,000-plus NGOs that have sought renewal have yet to be scrutinised.


Contrary to the Government’s defence that it is only following accounting and audit procedures, it seems clear that organisations that have particularly faced the Modi government’s ire are those that work in specific “sensitive areas”: pollution and climate change issues, human rights, child labour and human slavery, health and religious NGOs, particularly Christian and Islamic charities. Prominent names among nearly 20,000 NGOs to have lost their foreign-funding licences since 2014 include Amnesty InternationalGreenpeace IndiaPeople’s WatchEuropean Climate FoundationCompassion International and the Gates Foundation-backed Public Health Foundation of India


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